Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is advising China Unicom [Hong Kong] Ltd. on its $1.9 billion acquisition of a fixed-line and broadband network operator in southern China.
China Unicom, the Hong Kong subsidiary of state-owned China United Network Communications Group Co. Ltd. is acquiring Unicom New Horizon Telecommunications Co. Ltd. from its parent company.
Unicom New Horizon operates fixed-line telecommunications in 21 provinces and cities in south China. China Unicom had been renting Unicom New Horizons networks since 2008, with the lease agreement set to expire later this year. According to China Unicom, the depreciation costs incurred from owning Unicom New Horizon will be lower than the potential leasing fees.
The deal is subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals, but is expected to close later this year.
Freshfields team on the deal is being led by Hong Kong partners Teresa Ko and Grace Huang. The Magic Circle firm also advised China United Network Communications on its $1.4 billion buyback of shares from Spanish telecommunications giant Telefónica SA. in August.
Beijing-based Commerce & Finance Law Offices is advising China Unicom on Chinese law.